More than 400 apartment units flooded by Hurricane Harvey might be months — perhaps a year — away from being ready for tenants, leaving displaced residents looking for other housing options.
Almost 450 apartment units in Dickinson were damaged after Harvey in late August caused severe flooding, Mayor Julie Masters said. But work needed to bring the units back online is extensive, and entails repairing air-conditioning and electrical systems in badly flooded buildings, contractors said.
City officials would like the repairs to move more quickly so residents can return, Masters said.
“There is a need for apartments in Dickinson because we have a lot of displaced people,” she said. “Our community development department is working with complexes as far as permits and building up to code.”
It could be six months to a year before Dickinson Pines Apartments, 600 Deats Road, will be ready for residents to return, Julio Vasquez said.
“We are going to have to reinstall the Sheetrock and texture it,” Vasquez said. “The Sheetrock is the most time-consuming.”
The exact number of Dickinson apartment dwellers displaced by the storm wasn’t available. More than 11,000 people in Dickinson applied for federal disaster assistance after Harvey dumped 50 inches of rain in the city. In Dickinson, 4,493 renters applied for FEMA housing aid after Harvey, according to federal data compiled by the Episcopal Health Foundation. Those numbers might include rental houses.
At least 40,000 people were displaced from their Galveston County homes after three days of monumental flooding.
There is a lot of work to complete and some complexes are deeper in reconstruction than others, Dickinson Fire Marshal Lee Darrow said.
“We have been wanting to work with them to get complexes open as quickly as we can,” he said.
No reopening date had been set for Dickinson Pines, which sustained floodwater damage during Harvey, Vasquez said.
“It’s a total remodel,” he said. “We are going to have to redo all the air conditioning and heating.”
The owners of Dickinson Pines could not be reached for comment.
Creekside Apartments, 406 Deats Road, is in a similar situation.
The flood damage at Creekside Apartments was severe. Some buildings took in as much as 5 feet of floodwater, submerging most of the first floor-electrical system, city officials said.
Construction at Creekside Apartments has been constant the past few months, construction superintendent Fuat Evliya said.
“We have changed all of the Sheetrock, the floors and outside sidings,” he said. “Everything has pretty much been remodeled. Pretty much 90 percent.”
Some displaced residents will get a chance to move in within the next month, however, Evliya said.
“We are going to open the first four buildings in June,” he said.
Owners of Creekside Apartments could not be reached for comment.
At Courtyard Park Apartments, 3206 Lobit Drive, there’s an uptick in leasing interest, manager Debra Burris said.
“I’ve got a waiting list full of 20 people,” she said. “The waiting list is for downstairs.”
But it’s unknown how long those 20 people will have to wait.
The first floor at Courtyard Park sustained extensive flood damage during Harvey and the rooms are not available to lease.
Like many homes and businesses in Dickinson, everything from drywall to the electrical system must be replaced, Burris said.
“In two weeks, drywall will start to be installed downstairs,” she said.
Owner Joe Kelly bought his 12-unit apartment complex, Park Place Apartments on 2300 44th St. in Dickinson, in November 2014. He’s scrambling to reopen units by the end of this year.
“We are struggling,” Kelly said. “It’s like picking up from ground zero.”